Fall in the Canadian Rockies

Banff, Alberta, Canada

My brother-in-law, Kevin, has an amazing eye for photography. It comes naturally for him, yet he’s so nonchalant about it you’d think it wasn’t a big deal. This week he snapped a few photos with his phone in the Canadian Rockies and they almost make me want to visit. Then… I’m reminded of the excessively cold temperatures and endless snow and I forget all about it. Would you rather be at the white, snowy mountains or the white, sandy beaches?

Banff, Alberta, Canada

Banff, Alberta, Canada

I’d take the beaches any day, but not everyone would agree.

Advertisements

175 thoughts on “Fall in the Canadian Rockies

      • I first saw this mountain on a calendar when I was a child and so when we went through the area a few years later, I noticed this uniquely shaped mountain. I few years ago I was in the area again (after a long, long time) and was looking for Mt. Eisenhower. It didn’t exist. After a bit of research I found out that they renamed it Castle Mtn. We went to Lake Louise this last trip and it was the first time I’d been there in the winter. The lake was frozen and they had made ice sculptures of castle walls at the edge of the lake. Looked very pretty.

        Like

        • I can definitely relate to your story.
          As I child, growing up on Canada’s east coast, I learn to snowboard on small hills in local municipal parks. When my mother would take me to the grocery store, I would always end up in the magazine section staring at photos from professional ski magazines and dreamed of skiing in the mountains of western Canada and the U.S.A.
          I was able to make that dream a reality, and couldn’t be happier.
          You were in Lake Louise during WinterFest. Did you witness any of the ice sculpture competitions? It’s incredible!!

          Like

          • All that was left was this castle wall with intricate carvings on it. Even that part was amazing. People were skating and cross-country skiing at the far end of the lake. I hadn’t expected it to be frozen – had always seen it with it’s turquoise water, so was surprised at the ice, but pleasantly so because of the sculptured wall – like the entrance to a fairy castle. That’s great that you got into photography!

            Like

    • Obviously πŸ˜‰

      I love your details. I mean… you have an app and tips. I’m as passionate about the beach, but maybe I need to give the mountains another chance. Do you have a favorite mountain destination?

      Like

          • You don’t have to ski or snowboard. If you can walk you can snowshoe or cross-country ski and be further from the maddening crowd. I like winter and summer in the mountains, and I like to dress WARM in the winter.

            Like

          • I actually enjoy skiing and snowboarding. I’m a Canadian πŸ˜‰ BUT the icy cold is why I moved. Even when I dressed in the best gear, I still feel cold. I wish there was a way to avoid that!

            Like

  1. I love the Rockies. I once drove from Calgary to Vancouver…in November. Never before or since have I been so cold. However, I’ve been living in the tropics now for 18 months and am gagging for a little chill. So today, I’ll take the snowy mountains, thanks, which should keep me going until the end of January…winter in Paris woo hoo!!

    Like

  2. Pretty amazing phone shots. I find it to be apples and oranges. Both beach and mountain have their place in my mind. Depends on your need at the time:)

    Like

  3. Castle Rock in the 1st, Peyto Lake in the last, right? (Desperately want the ID’s of the other two!)

    I absolutely love the Canadian Rockies; my visit there was perhaps my favorite vacation of all time. Thanks for sharing these pics, and all the memories it brought back. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Always glad to hear that my photos bring back such wonderful memories!

      The other photo was taken at Boom Lake, which is also in Banff National Park, and I can honestly say that I have never seen water as clear as it was in this lake.
      Were you in Banff during summer or winter?

      Like

        • If you’re looking to ski, then Mid March is ideal. The “springbreakers” have come and gone and there’s plenty of fresh snow.
          If you’re looking to do some sightseeing and maybe some hiking, then I would recommend September. After labor day, the crowds disappear, and accommodation becomes a lot more affordable, but the weather is still fantastic!

          Like

    • Do you think the mountains are more beautiful than the ocean? I love the beach… the sounds, the relaxation, the beauty, the smells. If I really think about it, though, looking at the mountains might be more beautiful.

      Like

  4. Living in Calgary, about an hour from this paradise, I can attest that the Rocky Mountains are one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. ( as clearly seen in these stunning photos) The cold can be very challenging so we go with the best of both…living here and traveling to warm destinations to thaw from time to time. πŸ™‚

    Like

  5. I love the mountains – harsh, yes- but so beautiful. Of course it’s only November now, and I do live in Wisconsin so…if you asked me this in February, I just might choose a sandy beach. πŸ˜‰

    Like

      • Not many – maybe a couple like Pine Mountain and Brule. These are not “mountains” by any stretch of the imagination – more like very tall hills – lol. But they are tall enough to have at least one chair lift. Upper Michigan has more – like Big Powderhorn, Blackjack, and Indianhead. I don’t ski anymore, but back in the day, I skied all of these. Loved the UP the best. That said – not to many people come to Wisco for skiing. Most of our visitors come for Door County, football (Go Pack Go!), camping, snowmobiling, fishing, etc. You should visit Colorado in the fall – seriously. My aunt lives in Colorado Springs – it’s gorgeous.

        Like

          • Wow – that’s a tough one. Door County is fantastic – visitors call it the “Cape Cod of the Midwest”, but it is somewhat touristy. However, you have water on both sides of the peninsula (Lake Michigan and the Bay), and a lot of swimming, hiking, kayaking, etc. If you like football – stop in Green Bay for a tour of Lambeau and the Packer Hall of fame and Packer Pro Shop. Your daughter would LOVE Bay Beach in Green Bay too. Very oriented to little ones, and very inexpensive. Across the street is the Wildlife Sanctuary – also a kid friendly, and then north of Green Bay is the NEW Zoo.

            Northern Wisconsin has the Apostle Islands, the Eagle River area, and the Rhinelander area. You would probably really like the Apostle Islands. Just beautiful.

            Western Wisconsin has the St. Croix river area, and southern Wisconsin you have Madison, Wisconsin Dells (super touristy – like Gatlinburg on steroids), and the Dodge County area where you will find the House on the Rock and other attractions.

            If I think of more, I will let you know. This is just off the top of my head on a Sunday morning. πŸ˜‰

            Like

      • You did a great job capturing these with your phone. Makes me want to drive out there right now! I also use my iPhone for pictures – I never even bring my camera anymore. My last blog post features pictures taken with my phone too. I do “enhance” them with iPhoto to make the colors pop. But for clarity and just being able to capture a moment – having a good camera on your phone can’t be beat.

        Like

        • Thanks Sue!
          The best camera is always the one that you have with you, and for most people a camera phone fits the bill just perfectly.

          Here’s a quick tip:
          Next time you’re taking pictures with your phone, try shading the camera lens from the sunlight. Have a friend hold up their hand casting a shadow on the lens is probably the easiest way. This will increase the contrast in the photo and give you the deeper sky colors.

          Happy shooting! πŸ™‚
          K

          Like

  6. Beautiful pics! If I had a choice I’d probably choose mountains with sunny beach vacations. I always go for the win-win. πŸ™‚ Do you know if Kevin puts his pics on DeviantArt or Glossom or anything? These would make amazing prints!

    Like

    • Back when I was doing a lot of studio photography I used DeviantArt quite a bit as a source of inspiration and ideas, but I never posted anything.
      To be honest, I had no idea that they even sold prints.
      Maybe it’s time I pay the site a visit…
      Are you a member of DeviantArt? What’s your username?

      Like

    • Obviously I’m a beach girl, but the Canadian Rockies are a bucket list add for anyone that hasn’t been. Even this beach lover sees the worthiness of a visit. πŸ™‚ What is the furthest north that you’ve been?

      Like

  7. What beautiful pictures and I agree that your brother in law really have a great way of capturing the beauty. I have always wanted to visit Canada, hopefully someday. As far as mountains or beach I would have to say mountains but visit the beach at times, also.

    Like

    • The water incredibly clean and crystal clear. In some places the water has a turquoise color, which is caused by the water’s mineral content reflecting off of the sky.

      The glaciers just north of Peyto Lake are known as a Hydrological Apex. Water from these glaciers flows all the way to the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific oceans.

      Like

      • I’m a pacific northwest girl. Either Olympic National Park or Mt. Rainier. Both beautiful, peaceful, and so many options (also, very close to home). But, thus far, my favorite mountain hikes are around Mt. Adams – the federal recreation areas and national forest there are so tranquil, grand, and interesting. It’s a bit too far to visit often, though well worth the extra time.

        Like

        • The Pacific Northwest is such a beautiful area!!
          Rainforest hikes in the summer, and oodles of snow in the winter! I would love to get out to Mt. Baker sometime.

          Like

      • I’m actually not much of a traveler, and have never even been anywhere near the Rocky Mountains! However I live in south east Michigan, where we usually get a little bit of just about every kind of weather there is. In the last few years or so our winters have been somewhat lackluster, and even in months like January and February, you really never can tell what the weather is going to be like here. It could be anywhere from 30 below zero to 70 degrees and sunny! If you want to be sure you’ll see snow here, the best bet is to check out the Upper Peninsula, which is AMAZING! (Never ever go there mid May to mid June, though. (Rumor has it you would be eaten alive by swarms of insects during that time.)

        Like

  8. I grew up in Calgary, Alberta but went to university in Victoria, BC – so I’ve been lucky enough to drive through the gorgeous Rockies many a time! I prefer to enjoy the view from my toasty car though.

    Like

  9. holy wowie
    it’s such a gift to share these images – simply knowing there are places such as this in the world (and even relatively nearby) brings a surge of something like hope.
    but that’s not quite the right word.
    thank you so for sharing the images

    Like

    • Thank you for commenting!
      All of these wonderful comments are making me wish that I had submitted photos sooner!

      As happy as I am with the way that these photos turned out, they pale in comparison to visiting the mountains and witnessing their sheer size first hand.
      You should plan a trip!

      Like

      • it would be something to visit for sure.
        my sister showed me photos from a hiking trip there.
        truly a stunning place to experience.
        the clarity of light – the air must be different in some way…
        thanks for the encouragement to visit!

        Like

        • You’re right about the air.
          Because of the elevation, there is less moisture in the air, and less atmosphere for sunlight to pass through. This results in faster sunburns (wear lots of SPF30+) and less “haze” in your photographs.

          Like

  10. Majestic mountains, crystal clear waters…I love Canada. Guess that’s why I live here, but the awe of the mountains take my breath away. I’ve been to B.C. and flown over the Rockies. They look so c.ol.d.

    Guess I’d prefer a beach too. πŸ˜€

    Like

      • Hi Kevin,
        My husband and brother-in-law chose the trails, so I would have to check with them for their names. One started at Lake Louise and went up to the little cafe by a lake (which was closed by the time we got there), another went up to a waterfall, and another took us to some hot springs. I usually wait for a story thread to inspire me, and then find the photos to help me illustrate that story, but I will make my next post photos of the Canadian Rockies from that trip. It is clear that you know and love that place, and I am sure you will recognize many of them. (Grand Teton National Park is where I go to renew myself, and those are the trails I know by name and by heart.)

        Like

  11. I have never visited Canada before but I plan to visit in the next few years, I love the snow and have always wanted to go to the Rockies, it’s my dream. I have been to Durango Colorado and fell in love with it because of the snow πŸ™‚

    Like

    • What is it about snow that you love?

      I would say that I love the way snow feels; How it crunches under your boot on a really cold morning, or it’s velvety texture when you’re skiing through it.

      Like

  12. I love mountains, but unfortunately have MS and can’t live in the high country or in the hot country. So even though I can visit the Smoky Mountains I can’t visit my sisters in Colorado any more, and can’t go to beaches, because of altitude in the first case, and heat in the second. So I guess I’m stuck here in Kentucky. Not all that bad a place to be.

    Like

  13. Beautiful pictures! I’d personally take beach over mountains, although I would love to do a day hike in the mountains. I live in New England, and every year I say I want to get into hiking, but never get around to it. I don’t know where I’ll be living next year, so maybe this year I will!

    Like

    • I have to agree with Lesley.
      The Apalachian trail, in the fall, is constantly listed as one of the best hikes in the WORLD!!.
      You don’t have to do the whole trail (that would take months) but you could look into shorter day or overnight hikes.

      Like

  14. Beautiful beautiful!. I was born in Saskatchewan, so my first few winters were insanely cold. It was -40 the day I was born. Then my parents decided to move to Britain, where it just rains all winter instead. Next year, all being well, I am moving back to Canada. Saskatchewan wasn’t really an option for us – didn’t appeal to my husband at all, who loves snowcapped mountains! I love the Rockies, but have opted for Vancouver Island, where it’s less cold, there are still spectacular mountain views, and snowboarding nearby, and I know I can deal with the rain because I’m used to it!

    Like

      • We spent a month on the Island earlier this year. Totally fell in love with it. Didn’t want to leave. I’d been to Vancouver before, many years ago, and really liked that, but the Island is just totally in line with our lifestyle so it’s perfect. We loved the people, loved the scenery, the mountains, the beaches, the forests, the incredible variety of things to do all within like 30 minutes of each other! We were there in the spring, with beautiful sunny weather, so one day we went snowboarding in the morning and then sat on the beach in the sunshine in the afternoon. OK, we weren’t in bathing suits. But you can’t have everything. It was only April. πŸ™‚

        Like

    • Vancouver Island is a truly magical place! Good choice!
      Personally, I fell in love with the area around Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park.
      You are right about the rain though. Be sure to pack your Wellies!

      Like

      • Thanks Kevin! I am really excited at the prospect of making it our home! We loved Tofino and Ucluelet, but we have decided to live in the Comox Valley, which is a bit drier. I’m fine with the rain though – I do live in Scotland so I’m well used to it. The annual rainfall is similar to here, but what everyone seems to forget is that on Vancouver Island, especially the East coast, is that it’s actually dry and warm in the summer. Here in Scotland it just rains ALL YEAR. I am not kidding.

        Like

    • Where are you from? or where do you call home? Usually people with an appreciation for the mountains are from colder climates. I was born in eastern Canada and I do miss the peacefulness of the snow sometimes, but I’d rather be on a hot beach any day.

      Like

      • From Denmark, so northern is rights, but we don’t have any mountains at all, maybe I am a bit jealous of the norwegians. My mums family did migrate up here from Switzerland a few hundred years ago so maybe its in a small part of my blood.
        Really I just love the scenery a the first night the weather turns below 0 C is magical for me. And then after a month of snow I want the sun and beaches again:)

        Like

          • The weather is grey and rainy now and for all of the winter. We sometimes have snow, but cant count on it. Spring is usually the best time April/May..August is nice most years, unless fall comes early:) If you hit a worm summer I love it here, but check the weather report first..it often rains quite a bit..I know.. I’m really selling it right;)
            Top places to go would by Skagen at the very northern tip of Denmark, were the oceans meet, sandy beaches and Skagen city is beautiful. Odense were H.C. Andersen came from, has a lot of charm and small crooked houses. If you are into sailing the archipelago south and vest of Fyn is great. Close to Aarhus I recommend Mols Bjerge National Park.
            Last but not least Copenhagen: The Little Mermaid, Tivoli, StrΓΈget, the canals and Nyhavn are places to go:)

            Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s